Written by Kyle Hicks — August 22, 2016
So you just bought yourself some samples and loops from That Sound. You went and fixed yourself some coffee while the progress bar did its thing, and now you're all set. With a fresh cup of coffee at your side and an appetite for creativity, you rummaged through the folders of the library you just purchased and planned out perfectly which samples you're going to use and which pads you're going to use them on with your Roland SPD-SX. You've picked out your sounds and you're ready to go. Now what? How do you go from point A to point B — from planning to playing? How do you get these samples into your SPD-SX in the fastest and most efficient way possible? Not to worry. We have a few approaches that will get you going in the right direction.
First, let me say I'm thrilled to know you're using our samples and loops with your Roland SPD-SX. I'm a fellow SX user and this is one of my favorite ways to use our samples. There are two ways I typically go about it. I'll share them both with you.
The first way to get your new samples and loops into your Roland SPD-SX is to import them individually and assign them to each pad. All of our one-shot and multi-velocity samples come in .wav format, making a single or multi-import into your SX super easy. You can do this a couple ways. Loading your sounds onto a thumb drive or connecting an external hard drive is arguably the easiest way to do this. Simply transfer the sounds from your computer to a thumb drive. After you've transferred them to this drive, disconnect the drive from your computer and connect it to the USB port in the back of your SPD-SX. As you might already know or expect, there are a few requirements for importing external samples into your SX this way.
- The samples must be .wav files
- The sample rate must be 44,100 and the sample size 16-bit
- The samples must be located in the root directory of the drive (not inside a folder)
- The name of the .wav file must be 12 characters or less (8 characters or less for the SPD-S).
Again, all of our samples are .wav files, so you're good there. You will, however, need to convert the samples from the 24-bit sample rate to a 16-bit sample rate. While I'm sure there are converters out there for this, I typically use iTunes. Once your new 16-bit samples are in the root directory of your thumb drive, feel free to import them into your SPD-SX and have at it! I'd recommend using the owner's manual to help you import if you've not done it before.
Another way… and honestly my preferred way to import samples into your SX is using the Roland SPD-SX Wave Manager. It's a desktop application that allows you load in all your samples by assigning them to pads and kits. It's extremely easy and efficient and it's available to download for both Mac and Windows.
Use Your SPD-SX as a MIDI Instrument
This is easily my favorite way to use our samples and loops. This is a little more nuanced and is most easily accomplished by using the presets that come with each That Sound library. While there's a little more effort required in using the samples this way, the tradeoff is this way allows you to take advantage of the multi-velocity hits and get a much more realistic feel from your pads. Additionally, you can change your individual sounds out much easier. Here's how it works.
- After you've purchased the deluxe version of a library, install the presets into your preferred workstation. Mine is Logic by Apple, Inc.
- Connect your Roland SPD-SX to your computer using the appropriate USB or MIDI cables.
- Adjust the MIDI settings in both the application and on your SPD-SX to make the device recognizable inside your application.
- Open the plugin necessary to use the presets you just installed. (Example: inside Apple's Logic Pro X this is EXS24).
- Load a kit and start playing drums!
Again, this process is a bit more nuanced than the one mentioned before it, but it allows you more control and you don't have to convert your samples from 24-bit to 16-bit. Whether you're using your SPD-SX in a live or studio context, you'll most likely need to run your computer through an interface of some sort. I'm sure there are a ton more ways to merge these two worlds together. If you've got pro-tips and other cool ideas, share them below in the comment section.
We're hoping to release a video series in the near future that will walk you through a few of these processes. Until then, don't hesitate to reach out if there are any other questions we can answer for you.
This article was posted by Kyle Hicks.